We Turned Essence Fest Into The Ultimate Girls Trip
Essence Fest is an annual highlight for me, but after doing the event solo for years, this time my girls and I decided to make it a group thing. Inspired by the upcoming Girls Trip movie and equipped with our very own Ford Explorer, courtesy of one of Essence Fest’s biggest sponsors, we hit the road last Thursday, making the six-and-a-half hour drive from Atlanta to New Orleans. Hats off to my girl Kimberly who drove us safely the whole way.
As a backseat passenger, I didn’t have much say over the journey — much to my dismay. Being the trap queen that I am, I put in my request for rap music in every state we crossed, from Georgia to Alabama, Mississipi, and Louisiana, and was promptly denied every time. I didn’t tell my friends, but the throwback ’90s music they were playing did sound great coming from the speakers. And the fact that I was able to keep all my devices charged in the backseat, which was equipped with two USB plugs and a regular plug for laptops, flat irons, and whatever else a passenger might need to look and feel their best after a long trip, kept me more than occupied.
After a late night out on Bourbon street, we got up Friday morning to attend the Lincoln Motor Company’s First Listen Brunch which included a live performance by Alabama-bred singer and songwriter Sebastian Kole who sung his new single “Priceless” and told us about his journey in the music biz.
Raj Register, Ford’s Multicultural Communications Manager, also gave us an overview of the activations the brand had during the weekend, which we got to see first-hand the next afternoon at Ford’s block party-themed booth.
In an interview with Sirius/XM Radio, Jazmine Sullivan discussed her growth as an artist and as a woman over the years, telling the crowd she’s not smashing anyone’s windows anymore. She also shared she’s “slowly” working on a new album. Other stars who stopped by the booth included Chaka Khan, Tank, India Arie, Elle Varner, Bryshere Gray, and the stars of Girls Trip.
Later Saturday afternoon, Ford had a media dinner at Delmonico’s for members of the press covering the festival where we were able to catch up on one another’s weekends, enjoy amazing food, and get more insight on the happenings with the brand.
Sunday afternoon was the real festive treat, as Lawrence E. Adjah, the creator of the “Our Family Dinner” series brought his experience to NOLA at Annunciation. We chatted with him about the movement prior to indulging in delicious Cajun fare, including one of my favorites, shrimp & grits.
Later that night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, we witnessed crowd favorite, Miss Mary, win a 2018 Ford Mustang and give all her praise to Jesus for the prize which was announced by brand ambassador Loni Love.
And then we ended the night listening to Solange, Trombone Shorty, Master P, and Chance the Rapper on the Essence Festival main stage before packing up and hitting the road again to go home.
This trip wouldn’t have been the same without my girls and I thank Ford for making it happen!